Favorite Quote

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
-Randy Pausch

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going, Going, GONE!

Remember the ridiculous chia pet commercials?  Well, my furry kinda looks like a chia pet in this pic.  What he has on his back, ladies and gents, is a tray of wheatgrass!  I buy wheatgrass about once every five days, and drink at least two ounces a day.  It's not necessarily the best tasting stuff in the world BUT I feel it's necessary to help keep me in remission and stay healthy!  It has this little sweet taste to it, which makes me shudder.  I started drinking wheatgrass daily about two months ago.  Up to that point I only drank wheatgrass once every now and then.  I feel that wheatgrass will help keep me in remission now that I am off the 'riods.  You can check out the benefits of wheatgrass here, here, and here.  I'll have a "Wheatgrass 101" blog entry coming soon!

Yes, that's right, I'm now COMPLETELY OFF the prednisone.  I took my last steroid pill on Tuesday, and have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms since Wednesday evening.  It started with a pretty bad headache on Wednesday night which led to me not being able to sleep due to the severity of the headache.  On Thursday morning my headache was accompanied by nausea and fatigue. Today I have a faint headache, but the nausea and fatigue are gone.  I rode easy today, only for about 25 minutes, which isn't very much, but enough to keep me somewhat sane.  I have to keep riding to stay mentally, spiritually, and physically strong.  If, for some reason, I get sick again I'm going to keep riding, even if it's on the damn trainer.

It's going to be an interesting next couple of weeks as in the past I have always relapsed 3-6 weeks after coming off the 'roids.  Not this time though.  I'm stress free, my hubby will be home soon, I'm the strongest I've been since being diagnosed, I'm eating very well, I'm with my fam, and drinking at least 2 ounces of wheatgrass daily.  Oh, and I'm starting my Xango drink on Sunday too!  I feel confident that I won't relapse, but only time will tell.  

I'll keep y'all updated, but until then, enjoy this ridiculous commercial!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Doggie...

First off, I want to thank My Love Bug for coming through yet again!  The man is in the middle of nowhere (literally) and still managed to send me flowers (a flower cake to be exact) for my bday (which was Sunday).  I know you won't get to see this until you get home, but thank you Love Bug!

On Saturday we celebrated mine, Caesar's (my beast in the pic above) and my seester's dog Giovanni's birthdays. For those of you that think we're weird let me say that this is the FIRST time we've had a bday party for the dogs.  I'd say a good half of you have done the same thing but are too ashamed to admit it!  My sis also gave us all a shout out on her myspace page so check it out at: www.myspace.com/mariafrench

This is a pic of the doggie bday cake(simmer down PETA lovers, it's fake chocolate icing)!

On a more serious note, I tapered down to 5mg of prednisone on Tuesday.  This is a big deal because I will fully be off the 'roids next Tuesday (the 26th).  For the past two years I have been battling a vicious cycle with tapering because I have always relapsed 3-6 weeks after coming off the 'roids.  I am confident this will not happen again, but can definitely use your thoughts and prayers, so keep me in mind!  The vicious cycle that has occurred for the past two years will be broken this time, I know it!  I will keep my blog updated with my progress!  I think the lack of stress/being around family/riding my bike is going to help me break this vicious cycle.  I'm hoping for the best...

Lastly, here is a pic of Tom and myself after a painful ride early Tuesday morning.  I met Tom and Paul (Paul will be in a later pic I'm sure) last Tuesday while riding.  To make a long story short, I was riding by myself when Tom and Paul zoomed by.  Tom yelled at me to draft so I grabbed onto Paul's wheel (he was on Tom's wheel) and we cruised for a little while.  I met up with them this past Tuesday and they handed me my ass, but it was an awesome, painful ride!  Paul broke his crank while climbing so Tom and I had to pace-line back to get the car so Paul wouldn't cook in the hot AZ sun! Tom pushed me to my limits and I was able to see how strong I've gotten over the past two months(thanx for not letting me wuss out Tom!).  I was in some serious pain but know the only way to get faster is to suffer!  Thanx guys!  I look forward to our ride next Tuesday!  I wish I was staying in the area longer, Tom could seriously get me ready for race season next year.  

I also posted my first write up for the Vanderkitten Blog!  I'm SO EXCITED about this opportunity!  More to come later...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

YEAH Buddy!!!

I’ve been in remission for two months!  What can I say, I’ve been feeling great!  AND something HUGE happened to me this week…talk about a dream come true!  J-dub and a few other peeps know what I’m talking about…GET BETTER J-DUB!  I’ll blog about it when the time is right!  All I have to say is, y’all better check out the Vanderkitten website.  J-dub introducted me to Vanderkitten via Mandy’s blog, and the second I went to the VK website I was hooked!  Their clothing is catchy and HOT, and their jerseys are definitely the  HOTTEST I've ever seen.  I have never, EVER seen such awesome cycling clothing for women.  Vanderkitten is doing GREAT things for women’s cycling.  VK shows women that it is OK to be hot, sassy, feisty, and cute all while being CRAZY FAST on the bike.  Check out their website and their team standings.  These women kick ass.  More to come later…

 I was able to talk to my hubby this week for the first time in over a month.  That was nice, just a little over two months before he’ll be home!  YEAH!

 I did my first three hour ride in quite a while this past week.  It was awesome!  I’ve learned that it takes my body a few days to recover from a long ride like that.  That’s okay though, at least I was able to do it!  It was all rolling (I LOVE THE HILLS OUT HERE), and I felt pretty strong.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been on such a challenging ride.  I would say the last ride I’ve had like this was when I was a junior at the boat school.  On Friday a Ukranian guy I met while riding asked me if I had trouble getting up in the morning to ride (you have to get up between 0430-0500 to be on the road by 0530 to beat the heat out here).  I told him that getting up early hasn’t been an issue for me.  I am excited to ride.  I love riding and usually can’t wait to get to bed the night before so I can ride the following morning.  I know what it’s like to not be able to ride due to illness, and I’m not taking any chances or taking riding for granted.  Nope, never take riding for granted.  I take every opportunity to ride and savor every minute of it.  Nothing comes close to cycling.  Nothing.  Call me obsessive, but if you’re not a cyclist, you won’t understand.

 It’s awesome seeing how strong I’ve gotten over the past two months.  I started out only being able to spin easy for thirty minutes at a time, to struggling ridiculously on the hills (and I'm a climber), to now crushing the hills and going on three hour rides!  I am thankful for this, and continue to thank God for my blessings!  My body may not recover as quickly as it used too before getting sick, but hell, I’ll be wiped out for three days…it’s worth the beauty of a LONG HILLY ride!  If you’re wondering what my body does after a long ride, I’ll tell you.  The afternoon after a long ride I usually end up pooing a lil bit of mucous and a lil bit of blood, nothing to be too alarmed over (considering the amount of blood I’ve lost in the past while pooing).  To counter this I take lots of naps (it took me a while to get used to sleeping in the middle of the day), drink my wheatgrass, and eat well.  But the key to it all is plenty of rest.  It’s taken me over two years to listen to my body, but I think I’ve (almost) got it figured out.  I haven’t been able to go on such challenging long rides since getting diagnosed, so this is still a learning process for me.  I’m figuring it out though, and will hopefully cause some serious pain to chicks in WA State next year during racing season!  YEAH BUDDY!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We're Movin'!!!

It's official folks!  Matt and I are moving to WA State!  We are both extremely excited!   The cycling out there rocks, it is a great outdoorsy state, there are plenty of organic crazy peeps there, and the biggest Nordstrom in the country is in Seattle (not to mention there is a Chanel boutique inside the Nordstrom)!  Yes!  I mean, seriously, it doesn't get any better than this!  I'm totally stoked.  Whoo-hoo!!  =-)~